Fasting has been around since the first generation of humans on this earth and was done for religious reasons; however, today’s generation also does it for weight-loss purposes and other health related reasons. There are several types of fasting that are practiced and for different reasons, however, my focus will be on the correct way to fast, according to the scriptures.
What is fasting? Fasting is intentionally denying the flesh’s need for nutritional sustenance in order to enhance our spirit’s ability to reach out to God. It could also be the renouncing of our natural needs in order to invoke the supernatural. One day fasts usually begin at sundown on one day to sundown on the next day (Judges 20:26).
There are many publications out there about fasting, some even giving long lists of types of fasting but, according to the scriptures, there is really only one way to fast. The correct way to execute a fast is to abstain from tasting anything at all (Jonah 3:7). This means we would not put any water in our mouths – not even to rinse out our mouths, no brushing of teeth and no solid or liquidized food.
The Christian church has broken fasting down into many parts giving its members choices as to the type that suits them best. One of the fasts they have named the Daniel’s Fast, was not a fast in the scriptures! In Daniel 1:5-21 where Daniel ate fruits and vegetables for 10 days, that was not a fast. He did that because the king ordered his cooks to prepare his (the king’s) delicacies daily and Daniel did not want to partake of meals which would violate the Israelite Dietary Laws. These variations of Fasting, except for dietary and health reasons, are deceptive, and prevent individuals within their congregations from truly denying their flesh and communicate with The Most High God on a truly spiritual level.
Some of the fasts they suggest are; normal fast – water allowed, absolute fast – no food or water but teeth brushing is allowed, juice fast – fruit and vegetable juices only. These are not biblical fasts and would only benefit people whose goals are dietary or health related. They have others that they call disciples’ fast, Esther’s fast and others from the bible that are good fasts! But they are only spiritually beneficial when you do them the way those prophets and Hebrew stalwarts did them – putting nothing at all in their mouths.
Here are some of the reasons we fast:
- Deliverance from sin, addiction and bondage. Matthew 17:18-21
- Help in solving problems and protection. Ezra 8:21-13
- Revival- an improvement in the condition, strength, or fortunes of someone or something. 1 Samuel 7:6
- For spiritual power and victory over temptation, the flesh and the devil. Matthew 4:1-2.
- Protection from evil. Esther 4:13-16
- For favour, purpose and vision for life. Daniel 10:2-7
- Physical healing and direction from God.
- To enhance our walk with God.
There are a lot more reasons we fast but the above are come really common ones.
Mordecai Amon Israel.